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Data Science Lead

REQ ID:  630

New York, New York, US, 10022

At the NBA, we’re passionate about growing and celebrating the game of basketball. Through the intensity of the game and the amazing athletic skill of our players, we deliver excitement to hundreds of millions of fans around the world.

As a global sports and media business, the NBA is so much more. While Basketball Operations runs the league’s on-court activities, other departments manage relationships with television and digital media partners, develop marketing partnerships with some of the world’s most recognizable companies, oversee the licensing of NBA merchandise, and handle a wide range of responsibilities that drive the NBA’s success.


The National Basketball Association is seeking an experienced, hands-on data science leader to join the Analytics and Data Science team in Customer Data Strategy (CDS) in New York. He/she will focus on elevating the NBA’s use of analytics, predictive modeling and data visualization to take the league and our teams and partners to the next level with our vision of ‘deepening engagement with fans, both prospective and existing, that builds a lifetime love of the game’.  The role involves leveraging current varied data streams and corralling new ones to inform a single view of the fan across the NBA’s global touchpoints, including both on and offline platforms and channels.


S/he will have 10 or more years of practical experience in the analytics space including 2 or more years of people leadership. The candidate will lead a team of data scientists in a variety of advanced analytics projects and is charged with the task of creating and managing a suite of predictive models (e.g. propensity models, topic models, subscriber churn models, estimations of fan value, marketing mix and attribution models) that enables the NBA, our teams and our partners to establish greater engagement with our fans.


The role reports to AVP, Analytics and Data Science within Customer Data Strategy.


Major Responsibilities

  • Lead advanced analytic projects that solve complex business problems for the NBA, teams and partners
  • Partner with leadership to define, prioritize and execute use cases that drive measurable lift to fan engagement, revenue and partner value
  • Manage and enhance inventory of existing propensity and segmentation models to help the league, teams and partners deliver to revenue growth objectives
  • Create new predictive models to grow fan engagement for the league, teams and partners
  • Responsible for managing 2 members of the data science team; Mentors and provides thought leadership throughout the league and team analytics community
  • Prepares presentations that clearly communicate project findings to business partners


Required Skills/Knowledge:

  • The candidate must have a sufficient understanding of and practical experience with classic statistical modeling techniques (e.g. logistic regression, CART, K-means clustering) and machine learning algorithms (e.g. gradient boosting, neural networks, random forest)
  • Comfort with large, ambiguous streams of data across different formats and entry points; Hands-on experience processing large datasets; hands on experience with cloud environments (e.g. AWS, Azure) and Big Data technologies (e.g. Hadoop, Spark)
  • Experience developing high value features; Hands-on experience deploying models in real-time environments
  • Expert-level Python, R and SQL coding; Experience with TensorFlow or Microsoft Cognitive Tool Kit required
  • Excellent communication skills with ability to explain complex outcomes to business partners that may not have extensive quantitative backgrounds
  • Ability to work within tight deadlines and changing priorities


Experience Needed:

  • A minimum of 8 years of practical business intelligence and data science experience, preferably working with a consulting firm or in the entertainment, publishing or ad tech industries
  • Experience working with advertising and digital clickstream data a plus


Educational Background Required:

  • Ph. D or master's degree in statistics, mathematics, operations research, economics or related quantitative field.



We Consider Applicants For All Positions On The Basis Of Merit, Qualifications And Business Needs, And Without Regard To Race, Color, National Origin, Religion, Sex, Gender Identity, Age, Disability, Alienage Or Citizenship Status, Ancestry, Marital Status, Creed, Genetic Predisposition Or Carrier Status, Sexual Orientation, Veteran Status, Familial Status, Status As A Victim Of Domestic Violence Or Any Other Status Or Characteristic Protected By Applicable Federal, State, Or Local Law.

Nearest Major Market: Manhattan
Nearest Secondary Market: New York City

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